Nigeria: CWI section under serious attack

The CWI section in Nigeria – the Democratic Socialist Movement – Under Serious Attack.

Dear comrades,

We are making an unusual request, but one which we urge you to give immediate attention to and to carry out as quickly and as effectively as possible.

As you know, we have a comrade in Nigeria framed on a charge of murder. The military regime wants to silence him and other leading comrades of the DSM in the student and trade union field in an attempt to ensure a smooth transition to civilian rule due on 29th May. They want to avoid a situation where the new so-called democratic government, that they themselves have constructed, is confronted by a mass movement demanding a socialist alternative. They correctly fear that disappointment with the results of bourgeois civilian rule will provide fertile ground for our ideas. (They will also no doubt be afraid of an organisation that will take up the just demands of the impoverished masses for the punishment of all those involved in the corrupt regimes of the past).

In order to provide legal defence for our comrade, assistance for his family and the wherewithal for the comrades of the DSM to conduct the political defence of our party, we are asking every comrade of the CWI to make one small contribution to a ’Lanre Levy’. In Britain we are proposing £1, in Sweden 15 Kroner, in Germany DM3. This is a small sacrifice compared with what Lanre is having to face.

We must not let him suffer the same fate as Ken Saro Wiwa, who was also accused of killing his political opponents. He was released on bail and re-arrested and executed by the state. Nigeria is a country where arbitrary action is the norm and extra-judicial murder commonplace. In August 1997 Lanre was attacked and nearly beaten to death by political gangsters. We must ensure not only that, before the hand-over to civilian rule, ALL charges against Lanre are dropped but demand that he can go about his work without fear for his life and that all harassment of comrades in our party comes to an end.

Please collect as much as you can from comrades and contacts THIS WEEK with the help of the sheet overleaf. If you CAN put in some extra for others you will see soon, please do so. Cheques should be made payable to: ’CWI’ and reach us by the last day of May.

On 28th May, the eve of the hand-over to the new government, protests are planned at Nigerian Embassies and High Commissions world-wide, if Lanre is not cleared of all threats to his life and liberty.

Many thanks in advance for your help and support,


I want to see Lanre Arongundade – a member of the Democratic Socialist movement in Nigeria and a comrade of the Committee for a Workers’ International – totally free to continue the struggle for democratic rights and for socialism.

Here is my contribution towards the campaign for an end to all state harassment of our comrade and the dropping of all charges against him.



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Cheque/postal order to ‘CWI’

As donation from ______________________ 

Sent in the post

Special financial appeal to all readers of

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May 1999